“My life is like a movie. I do my own stunts.” ~Lil Wayne
I am not a Lil Wayne fan. However, this short and poignant quote touched my soul. I like the position he takes with his words–active, aggressive, in charge and true to himself. I dig that.Advertising
Viewing your life from the posture of both star and screenwriter of your own personal box office masterpiece as opposed to a spectator sitting in the audience taking it all in with a bag of popcorn, could be the genesis of a new you. That one small paradigm shift could alter the trajectory of your life forever.
Life from the audience
Life from the spectator’s vantage point is safe, uneventful, and very neutral. It allows us to engage in experiences from a distance. We can participate in a precarious situation yet walk away unscathed–nothing lost and nothing gained. The danger of the spectator lifestyle is that there is a level of disengagement that absolves us from taking any responsibility for the things that happen around us and more importantly to us.Advertising
The best part of sitting in the audience is once the show is over you get to critique the performance. The actors’ performances, the cinematography, the musical score, the storyline and plot are all there waiting to be ripped apart, scrutinized, and dismissed by you–a mere mortal with no “skin in the game.” The professional football world refers to this as “Monday morning quarterbacking.” As time progresses, you become increasingly more pious and critical of others. However, when you are faced with a set of circumstances where you must play a role, you excuse your mistakes, feel sorry for yourself and blame others for your tragic failures.
Becoming the screenwriter and star of your life requires you to “do your own stunts.” You must stop daydreaming and living vicariously through others and actively participate. The failures, mistakes, bruises, and scars are worth it. The late, great Jackie Robinson put it like this:Advertising
“Life is not a spectator sport. If you’re going to spend your whole life in the grandstand just watching what goes on, in my opinion you’re wasting your life.“
Life as a scriptwriter and star
Accepting and embracing the fact that you are the star of your own life with creative control over the script is crucial to living a purposeful and fulfilled life with no regrets. You must understand and accept the fact that you alone determine the overall success or failure of your life.Advertising
Being the star and creative force of your life gives you the ability to rewrite the script at a moment’s notice, altering the plot, setting or theme at your discretion. You get to cast and recast your own characters, determine their roles and cut them due to “creative differences,” when necessary. And then there are the plot twists. Sometimes you get to author your own plot twist and sometimes they are authored for you. Either way, a good plot twist makes an excellent movie.
Headlining your life requires a few things. First is audacity. You need to be bold enough to face fear and failure and proceed anyway. Second, you need a vision. Life without vision is akin to a movie without a plot–both are a pointless waste of time. Develop a vision for your life and let it serve as the theme that guides your plot. The last thing you need is perseverance. You have to stick with it in order to make it to the final curtain call. With these attributes and the recognition that a life lived from the audience is no life at all, there is nothing that you can’t accomplish.
Featured photo credit: BagoGames via flickr.com
Last Updated on October 16, 2019
5 Powerful Ways for Building Fulfilling Relationships
We all have relationships. We have acquaintances, relatives, colleagues, neighbors and friends. However, for a large percentage of us, many of these relationships are not fulfilling.
They are unfulfilling because they lack real strength; and they lack real strength because they lack real depth.
Unfortunately, in today’s society, we tend to have shallow, superficial relationships with others, and it’s extremely hard for this kind of relationships to provide anything more than faint satisfaction.
I’d like to show you, based on my experience as a communication and confidence coach, how you can add a significant amount of depth, and thus strength, to your relationships and make your social life a whole lot more meaningful.
Here’re 5 simple yet powerful ways for meaningful relationships building:
1. Meet More People
This is an apparent paradox, but the quality of the people you meet has considerably to do with the quantity of people you meet.
If you don’t know a lot of people and you barely meet one or two new people every season of the year, considering the variety of individuals out there, you won’t meet very often people who are a good match with you in terms of personality, interests and values.
And since this natural match plays a huge part in building strong relationships, you’ll just as seldom have the opportunity to develop strong relationships.
Conversely, if you go out a lot, you meet a lot of new people and you constantly expand your social circle, you’re much more likely to meet people you match up well with, and these people have a tremendous potential to become good friends, reliable partners, etc.
This is why it’s important to meet more people.
2. Talk about the Things That Matter To You
A relationship becomes the strongest when two people discover they believe in the same things and have similar interests. It’s these commonalities regarding values and interests that create the strongest emotional connection.
I’ve noticed that many people keep conversations shallow. They talk about trivial stuff such as the weather, what’s on TV, the lives of various movie stars, but they rarely talk about what really matters to them in life. This is a mistake from my perspective, because it’s the perfect method for a relationship to not develop.
Talk about the things that truly matter to you and give others a chance to know what you care about and what you believe in. If they believe in the same things and they care about the same things, they’ll eagerly let you know. Thus you’ll find meaningful common ground and you’ll feel more connected.
3. Express Vulnerability
Many people try to come off as perfect. They don’t talk about their failures, they hide their shortcomings and they never say anything that could embarrass them.
This is all just a facade though. You may appear perfect to some, but you know you’re not perfect and they know that too. You’re only human and humans have flaws.
However, by hiding your flaws, what you do succeed in is appearing cold and impersonal. You seem like a marble statue rather than a real person. And this makes it very hard for anyone to connect with you emotionally.
Humans connect with other humans, not with ideals. Keep this in mind and don’t be afraid to let your vulnerability and your humanity show. This is what takes a relationship to the next level.
Take a look at this article and find out Why Showing Vulnerability Actually Proves Your Strength.
4. Have Integrity
Integrity, as I see it, is the alignment between your thoughts, your words and your actions. When you say what you think and you do what you said you’ll do, you have integrity.
This is a crucial trait because if you have integrity, people can trust you. They can trust you to give them an honest feedback, even when it’s hard to shallow, and they can trust you to keep your promises.
This trust is one of the central pillars of a strong relationship, both in your personal and your professional life. So, as challenging as it can be sometimes, always try to have integrity.
Be honest with the people around you, even when this will initially hurt them. It’s more important for them to trust you than to not feel hurt. And always do what you promised. Even better, think twice before you promise anything, and only promise what you really can and you are willing to do.
5. Be There for Others
Another central pillar of strong relationships is support. Connections between people grow sturdy if they can rely on each other for support when it’s needed, whether that support means a few kind words or several massive actions.
Of course, you can’t be there for everybody, all the time. Your time, energy and other resources are limited. But what you can do is identify the genuinely important people in your life and then seek to be there as much as possible, at least for them.
Your support will help them practically, and it will comfort them emotionally; which makes one hell of a difference in a relationship.
The Bottom Line
With the right mindset and the right behavior, you can strengthen a wide range of relationships in your life and advance them as far as they can be advanced.
And with strong relationships, not only that you feel more fulfilled, but you feel more connected to the entire world. You feel that your life has real value, you have more fun and you live in the moment. An entire world of opportunities opens up in front of you.
Then your task is to simply walk through the open doors.
More About Effective Communication
- How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home
- 9 Powerful Techniques for Building Rapport with Anyone
- Conflict Management Styles for Effective Communication at Work
- Effective Communication: How Not to Be Misunderstood
Featured photo credit: Proxyclick Visitor Management System via unsplash.com